20 Best Things to Do in Canton, OH

Canton, OH
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The beautiful city of Canton is located near the middle and west branches of Nimishillen Creek.

Founded in 1805, it was a heavy manufacturing area with many railroad lines, making it an essential spot for shipping and transportation.

Today, Canton is one of Ohio's prime cities in various areas, including education, finance, health service, and other economically important businesses.

It is the ultimate city to visit for football fans since it is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Culturally, it is an excellent place for artists, too.

Ready to embark on a trip to this lovely destination?

Here are the best things to do in Canton, Ohio:

Visit the Famous Pro Football Hall of Fame

Exterior of Pro Football Hall of Fame
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The most important and the first thing you have to do in Canton is visit the famous Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It's the place where professional American football players who have reached great heights are honored.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame was established in 1963 and reveres many who made it big in the sport of professional football.

These include not only players but also football coaches, franchise owners, and other important personnel.

Name sign of Pro Football Hall of Fame
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There are 346 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame today.

Since its inception, approximately four to eight new inductees are taken every year.

Some of the famous names that are honored and enshrined here include Alex Karras, Bobby Dillon, George Young, and many more.

With over 8 million people who have visited this hall of fame since its opening, this place is definitely worth a visit whether or not you are a football fan.

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees bronze collection
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Explore the First Ladies National Historic Site

Exterior of First Lady's National Historic Site
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Officially recognized as a National Historic Site, the First Ladies National Historic Site focuses on the first ladies of the USA.

Mary Regula, the wife of Ohio congressman Ralph Regula, was the First Lady who created a board and raised funds so that they could assemble a biography on all the American first ladies.

This gave birth to the National First Ladies' Library, which was established in 1996.

There are two buildings in totality, including a historic home and an Education and Research Center.

The Research Center has two floors.

The first floor houses a theater, a large exhibit, and a meeting space.

Chairs and tables on the grounds of First Ladies National Historic Site
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There is also a collection of books organized according to former First Lady Abigail Fillmore’s collection, which was once displayed in the White House Library.

On the second floor, you'll find the main National First Ladies' Library.

This historic home was the home of Ida McKinley, who was the wife of US President William McKinley.

Designed in a Victorian theme, the house has stood tall since its inception in 1841.

The tour guides are costumed, and you can take a guided tour through various exhibits related to the President and Mrs. McKinley.

The tours are limited, so make sure that you reserve your seats if you are visiting in a large group of six or more.

Tour the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum

Exterior of William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum
Tim Evanson from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In honor of 25th US President William McKinley, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum looks into his life and career.

It is owned and operated by the Stark County Historical Society.

The museum contains some of the largest collections of artifacts belonging to McKinley.

The museum details his life from his birth to his death, which infamously took place at the hands of an assassin.

The library is also pretty huge and has many books.

Other than this, the museum also has a Science Center, which houses various wildlife and fossils.

Do not forget to pay a visit to the Hoover Price Planetarium built nearby, which was opened in 1963.

It is very beautiful, and the dome is quite huge, with as many as 60 projectors displaying wondrous scenes from the galaxy, including solar and lunar eclipses, life cycles of stars, Aurora Borealis, rainbows, and more.

Learn about Aviation at the MAPS Air Museum

An aircraft on the grounds of MAPS Air Museum
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The MAPS Air Museum is run by Military Aviation Preservation Society.

It is located near the Akron-Canton Regional Airport.

It has as many as 50 aircraft on display, including those from the US Air Force or Navy on loan.

These make for really awe-inspiring displays, and it's a great museum to visit.

There is also a room called the Gallery of Heroes, where models from war periods are listed.

Delta dagger aircraft at MAPS Air Museum
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These include aviation aircraft that were used during Pearl Harbor and many other wars.

There is also a library that has various preserved relations, including images, literature, manuscripts, diaries, oral histories, and others.

It is open to the public and a really interesting place to visit.

Some of the famous aircraft and displays that you should definitely have a look at include the Funk Model B, the Douglas series of aircraft, the Martin Glider, and more.

People admiring the aircrafts at MAPS Air Museum
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Pay Your Respects at the William McKinley National Memorial

Daytime view of William McKinley National memorial
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The William McKinley National Memorial was put up to honor the great soul of the 25th President of the United States.

It has McKinley's final resting place and was built after his assassination in 1901.

History marker of William McKinley National Memorial
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It is a pristine and serene area that is very important from a historical and cultural point of view.

Canton was chosen as the area to build this memorial because it played a very important role in McKinley’s entire life, as he lived and also practiced here for a long time as an attorney.

Back view of William McKinley National Memorial statue
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Admire the Art Pieces at the Canton Museum of Art

The vast Canton Museum of Art was established with the objective of bringing local artists together at a common meeting place.

Many exhibitions are now held here to promote regional art.

It's considered an important landmark, as it showcases Canton's history, cultural heritage, and local arts.

With as many as 12 to 15 exhibitions held throughout the year, you can find the works of many famous and regional artists on display.

Other than this, the general public can also enjoy an art class or two, along with other art workshops held here.

Some of the famous works on display include pieces by Thomas Hart Benton, Oscar Bluemner, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and others.

Another area of interest is the area related to contemporary ceramics, where you can find various beautiful and decorative pieces of pottery.

The collection here includes works of really famous artists like Toshiko Takaezu, Ken Ferguson, Karen Karnes, Don Reitz, and others.

There are also watercolor paintings on display by Winslow Homer, George Luks, and more.

Spot Magnificent Ships at the Blue Water Majesty Museum

The Blue Water Majesty Museum might be small in size, but it is a really impressive museum since it houses a relatively different set of artifacts and displays good and modern ships.

Most of the ships here were built by Larry Pulca, and these are handmade.

The ships were built with beautiful pieces of wood and exotic tree species like mahogany, ebony, and Jatoba.

The ships were very precisely built with attention to detail, and they matched the original blueprints to scale.

View a Collection of Vintage Cars at the Canton Classic Car Museum

The Canton Classic Car Museum is especially a fun place to visit if you are bringing your kids along on your trip, since the vintage cars on display are funky and very cool to look at.

The museum was founded in 1978 by Marshall Belden Sr and features as many as 40 preserved classic cars.

Some of the famous models that you can look at here include the 1911 Ford Model T and the 1966 Ford Mustang.

The gift shop is cool as well and has many souvenirs to take back home like games, toys, model cars, merchandise, and others.

Take Your Sweet Tooth on a Ride at Harry London Candies

An exceptionally famous confectionary store and factory, Harry London Candies is one place that you should put on your list if you are a foodie.

These Canton candies are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike since they have the perfect taste.

There are also free tours that you can opt for where you can learn about the history of Harry London.

Look at the facility and also watch along as batches of yummy chocolates are made for distribution.

Their handmade gelato is another specialty that is highly recommended.

They also offer free samples of chocolates and caramels at the end of the tour.

Enjoy a Peaceful Walk at the Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve

A boardwalk at Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve
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The Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve is spread over 50 acres and houses many different plant and animal species.

The boardwalks are very beautifully built and weave their way through quaint and towering trees and shrubs.

It is really peaceful to walk here if you want to get a breath of fresh air.

If you love nature, you'll also find a variety of carnivorous plant species, flowering species, and other flora.

Songbirds often fly here and fill the sky with their melodious tunes.

Taste Beer at the Canton Brewing Company

Established by Otto Giessen in 1883, the Canton Brewing Company has come a long way and is very important in the history of breweries in Canton since it was the first brewery to open.

It provides a fascinating take on local beers and gives visitors a sneak peek into the local brewing history.

It is most famous for its three core beers.

They also release seasonal specials that keep rotating every year.

Joining a guided tour of the brewery is highly recommended.

You can sample as many as eight beers on the tour, like the Tiny Tusc Kolsch, the Spiced Saison, and others.

Go Hiking at Boettler Park

Sunset st Boettler Park
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This beautiful park is a wonderful and eclectic mix of wooden trails and concrete walks.

What makes it more fun is that they also have a zip line where your kids will definitely have a fun evening.

The vast park is usually airy and not very crowded.

The playground is well-built with swings,  slides, pickleball courts, and tennis courts.

It is also a great place to visit if you want to do some low-key hiking along shrubby trails.

Play Disc Golf at Arboretum-Spiker Park

Disc golf is always fun, and Arboretum-Spiker Park's disc golf course is well-manicured and beautifully built.

You can also organize a picnic in the vast green space.

The lakefront is really pretty and provides a nice shaded spot for a perfect picnic.

It is also pet-friendly, so you can take your dogs along with you.

What makes the disc golf course perfect is that it has a total of 27 holes, and both beginners and intermediates will enjoy playing here.

Join a Food Walk with Canton Food Tours

What better way to relish a place than by enjoying its cuisine?

Canton Food Tours lets you explore all the different food destinations and breweries, offering the best way to honor the foodie in you.

They cater only to large groups, which means a group of at least six people—the more, the merrier.

All the stops offer you the best of Canton's food and drinks.

You can also ask for customizations in the tour if needed.

Other than this, you will also meet experienced tour guides and fellow foodies.

Go Fishing at Price Park

With a fishing pond and a playground, Price Park offers the perfect spot to relax while on a family vacation.

The pond is home to ducks and geese, and your kids can enjoy feeding them.

You can also have fun playing at the basketball and tennis courts.

Large picnic tables and charcoal grills are available if you're in the mood for some barbecue.

The walking path is also lovely, with trees on either side.

Admire the Architecture of the Canton Palace Theatre

Signage of Canton Palace Theatre
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The Canton Palace Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Canton, provides visitors an excellent opportunity to relive the past and enjoy the present simultaneously.

Since its construction in the 18th century, the theater has remained faithful to its original architectural design.

In addition to providing excellent entertainment, the Canton Palace Theatre collaborates with like-minded organizations to continue its aim of bringing educational and cultural events to its surrounding community.

Popcorn, nachos, candy, and other sweets and beverages are readily available for moviegoers at the theater concession stand.

The theater also serves mixed drinks, wine, and beer during special occasions.

A growing artistic community in the city finds its home in the Juilliard 3rd Space Gallery.

One of its many appealing aspects is that the gallery routinely exhibits the city's emerging artists, including their pupils' works.

See the fused glass and rock jewelry on display.

You may also purchase the handbags exhibited here.

Meanwhile, the Juilliard Arts Center, housed in the facility, features the gallery's numerous workshops and programs, including a lantern workshop.

Enjoy Live Music as You Dine at Buzzbin Art & Music Shop

After a day of touring Canton's attractions, unwind at Buzzbin Art & Music Shop.

Buzzbin is an expert in live music entertainment.

Around 1,000 bands perform at this venue each year.

It also organizes three live events of diverse genres each week and provides an ideal space for people to relax and unwind.

Get some fantastic food and drink as you listen to excellent music and enjoy Buzzbin's fulfilling menu.

The shop also makes its own beer cheese.

Experience the Adrenaline Rush at Sky Zone Belden Village

One of Canton's most exhilarating attractions is this trampoline park, where you can soar to new heights.

When it comes to trampoline parks, there's nothing ordinary about Sky Zone Belden Village, which is packed with entertaining thrills.

Its trampolines are long and broad, but some of its unique attractions can send you flying into a foam pit.

It also features a silks portion, a dodgeball, and a basketball court with its own trampoline twists.

Bring your kids here for guaranteed family fun!

Sip Wine as You Take in the Sights at Gervasi Vineyard

Chairs overlooking a lake at Gervasi Vineyard
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Simply put, Gervasi Vineyard is a lovely location.

The Italian countryside is only a 15-minute drive from Canton's city center.

You'll instantly realize how unique the winery is when you drive in and down the meandering road.

During the summer, make a reservation for a late supper, but arrive early to explore the grounds, enjoy live music on the terrace, and share a pitcher of sangria before your meal.

Booking a stay at The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard is a fantastic opportunity to have a memorable experience.

Make your reservations early since the villas tend to fill up quickly.

Final Thoughts

Start planning a trip to Canton, Ohio today, and experience all this city offers.

Whether you're a sports fan, a history buff, or an art enthusiast, Canton is never short of incredible things to discover.